Links 1/21/13

OK, you really are getting thin links today….I am up all night on a holiday weekend on a NC project, so no beefs. Please amuse yourself in comments. I was very proud of what you folks provided on the Adam Davidson thread. I’m sure if he had looked at it, it would give him indigestion.

They Hunt, They Kill, They Cheat: Single-Celled Algae Shed Light On Social Lives of Microbes ScienceDaily. I am looking forward to life on a less brutish and competitive plane. I’m not coming back to the Planet Earth E-ticket ride again.

‘Quadruple helix’ DNA in humans BBC

My life with the Zumba prostitute: Married father of two who financed notorious Maine dance studio speaks out and admits affair Daily Mail. Gotta love these headlines.

787 Batteries and Chargers Professional Pilots

Facebook’s Bold, Compelling and Scary Engine of Discovery: The Inside Story of Graph Search Wired

Aaron Swartz. Notice the Orwellian campaign against him? He’s now a hacker. The only thing he did was change MAC addresses, which pretty much no one informed would call a hack. I could probably figure out how to do that in 5 minutes on Google, I’ve just never bothered. But since they can’t call him a criminal, they’ll make him a criminal equivalent.

What Is a ‘Hacktivist’? New York Times

How M.I.T. Ensnared a Hacker, Bucking a Freewheeling Culture Associated Press. Oh, and to add insult to injury, JSTOR is depicted as “owning” the articles that Swartz copies. Bullshit. The copyrights were held by the publisher and the authors if they were smart retained a copyright interest too. JSTOR would be a licensee.

An open letter to Anthony Jenkins at Barclays Bank Rowan Bosworth-Davies (Richard Smith)

Rate swap scandal: mis-selling bill to top £1.5bn Telegraph (Richard Smith)

Exposed: The regime of fear inside Barclays – and how the boss lied and shredded the evidence Daily Mail (Richard Smith)

Is Italy the next domino? MacroBusiness

Why Monti is not the right man to lead Italy Wolfgang Munchau, Financial Times

Merkel’s Party Loses Lower Saxony Election Even as FDP Surges Bloomberg

Algeria hostage death toll ‘rises’ BBC

Ethiopian Regime on Life Support Counterpunch (Carol B)

Obama must atone for his CO2 omissions Ed Luce, Financial Times

Cheap Rifle Imports Flood U.S. Market Seattle Times

Aid Groups Fight Anti-Prostitution ‘Oath’ on Free Speech Grounds In These Times (Carol B)

Fracking Fight Intensifies in Tompkins County Cornell Sun

A confidence hit for US housing? MacroBusiness

Can non-Europeans think? Al Jazeera

Antidote du jour:

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  1. Inverness (@Inverness)

    This doesn’t directly concern the scam in the article, but is interesting anecdotal info, nevertheless. I know a fitness instructor who calls the whole Zumba craze a scam. She refuses to teach any more of those classes, because it also means shilling expensive shakes which her overweight clients buy because they are convinced it will help them lose weight, not to mention other Zumba gear.

    1. lakewoebegoner

      alternate day fasting worked for me. lost 20 pounds over autumn.

      it’s free and easy—eat reasonably normally on day 1, one meal of carrot sticks on day 2 and lots of tea to get through the initial hunger pangs.

    2. Larry Headlund

      This may depend on the group you are with. My wife takes Zumba at a general purpose health club and she tells me that they never try to sell her anything. No shakes, no clothing, no videos.

      1. jfwellspdx

        Agreed – my wife does Zumba at our athletic club and there are no ancillary products involved. Just a lot of ladies shaking dancing around for an hour.

      2. cwaltz

        Same here. My one hour class has a cost of $5 and that’s all they expect from me. It’s a fun and easy way to make sure you get an hour of movement in.

        1. Klassy!

          It probably fulfills a need to dance and move and have some fun that an alternate day fast cannot do, so I’m all for that.

      1. ambrit

        Dear MLTPB;
        Sorry, but inflation has come to everything except wages.
        SKS now start at $300.
        MAK-90 now start at $600.
        ARs will set you back $1200 and up. (That’s for clones.)
        Lambert Strethers “Market State” is doing its job well. Soon only private armies will be able to afford them. (An ambiguous state of affairs indeed.)

          1. ambrit

            Mr. Strether;
            Someone I haven’t encountered before. Any “Linky Goodness” for how the man coined the term? The concept is intriguing. (Your comment a few days ago was the first time I’d seen it used in a context that made sense.)

          2. ambrit

            Mr. Strether;
            Thanks for that. I read your post and the Archbishops Address as well. This deserves time and reflection. Looking forward to your next postings about it. (I think F. Beard would love the Archbishops speech.)

    1. ambrit

      Yes indeed. Those prices reminded me of halcyon days of yore. What with the panic and plain old “True Free Market” opportunism today, you’d be hard pressed to find a beat up .22 for $80. It has had the salutary effect of bringing a lot of us back down to Earth. A classic case of a manipulated price bubble if I ever saw one.

  2. Wyndtunnel

    So bacteria that stop producing toxins because they’ve killed all the prey and then just keep multiplying simply because they can… Sounds an awful lot like the finance sector…

  3. bobw

    On the Boeing battery problem, very good info. I wonder how much pull was used to get the new tech into aviation, maybe just my paranoia (could reading NC be a factor?). Great comment in the link – don’t know policy on reposting comments, but here goes:
    “Might I suggest switching over to a Plutonium-238 battery, works by means of radioactive decay, have a very long life, good energy density and at the end of the plane’s life-cycle can be sold on the second hand black market for ‘alternative’ uses.” From

  4. Eric Himpton Holder Jr.

    Happy fake MLK day! Ready for your fake inauguration? You chumps missed Obama’s real inauguration, when John Bennett swore him in as Puppet Ruler. They held it on April 4, the real MLK anniversary, to remind him what happens when civil-rights heroes get outa line and put on their marching shoes. Raul swore him in on the trial transcript of King Family v. Jowers. Jesse Jackson said, “Mister President, can I have a word with you out on the balcony?” and we watched Obama’s adam’s apple go ulp and everybody laffed their ass off. Brennan dropped the King bible on the floor and it banged and you shoulda seen Obama jump.

    1. wunsacon

      Have any NC readers seriously researched an MLK lawyer’s claims regarding a military hit squad standing by to assassinate MLK?

      If I hadn’t read the wiki page on the Chicago police assassinating Fred Hampton, I would easily dismiss the story about the MLK hit squad. But, it no longer seems like as much of a “stretch” to me as it once did.

      1. ex-PFC Chuck

        re the MLK Assassination:

        Don’t be put off by the fact that this is posted on an ultra-libertarian site. Douglass is life-long, lefty peace activist who was strongly influenced by Thomas Merton. He is one of only two journalists who sat through the entire King Family vs Jowers wrongful death civil trial, which he discusses at length in the link above. He is also the author of JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters, ( which is as good a recent exploration of the president’s death as I’m aware of. Here’s a link to Douglass’s BookTV discussion about his JFK book: Shortly after its publication, at an event here in the Twin City area that I attended, he said he was working on the next book of a planned quartet that would eventually cover the deaths of RFK and Malcolm X as well as MLK and JFK. I haven’t seen anything yet, however. He’s now in his mid-70s so age and/or health may be slowing him down.

        1. neo-realist

          Speaking of Malcolm X, there’s an excellent book on his assassination by Karl Evanzz called the Judas Factor: the plot to kill Malcolm X which delves into the government involvement to kill Malcolm X including an undercover operative who penetrated the NOI, became a spokesman for it, and helped to orchestrate the assassination.

        2. Jessica

          I have always felt that it would be nearly impossible to sort out the truth about the JFK assassination from all the lies that have been spread over the decades and wary of making JFK into a saint, but I was deeply touched by the book “JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters”

          1. Unsympathetic

            I’d believe JFK was actually killed for Executive Order 11110.. What other tinfoil hat theories are you speaking of?

      2. William

        Yes, all americans ought to read “Orders to Kill” by William Pepper, an attorney and close friend of King. Pepper devoted decades of his life pounding the pavement, interviewing witnesses, and trying to get a new trial for Ray. The story is complex, riveting, and shocking, almost unbelievable. But Pepper’s investigation was rock solid.

        Local, state, and federal government authorities conspired to kill MLK, not Ray. Ray was being set up a year ahead of time, knew nothing of the crime to be committed, and was a man comfortable around black people and was in no way a racist.

      3. diptherio

        Please follow the link. You will learn that the allegations of government conspiracy in the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. are not the unfounded claims of a lawyer. Both the jury and the judge in the cited case (King Family v. Jowers) found that the FBI and other agencies were engaged in the conspiracy to kill King. The FBI claims that the facts don’t warrant further investigation, but does anybody really expect the FBI to investigate itself (and the man that their headquarters is named after)? I think not.

        From the trial transcript:

        THE COURT: In answer to the question did Loyd Jowers participate in a conspiracy to do harm to Dr. Martin Luther King, your answer is yes. Do you also find that others, including governmental agencies, were parties to this conspiracy as alleged by the defendant? Your answer to that one is also yes. And the total amount of damages you find for the plaintiffs entitled to is one hundred dollars. Is that your verdict?

        THE JURY: Yes (In unison).

        The damages were only $100 because the King family wanted it to be clear that they were not doing this for money. Of course, the MSM spin was that, if there really was a conspiracy and cover-up going on, the damages would have been bigger, and also that the whole King family is crazy.

        I know a lot of liberals, hard-core activists even (one who nearly got arrested for bodily blocking the transport of tar-sands equipment) who simply cannot wrap their head around this. As soon as I mention it, I can see in their eyes that I’ve gone from being an intelligent, well-spoken ally, to a raving conspiracy theorist. It’s just too much to fathom for many people that their government could be that evil and cynical. They have to believe that the system is essentially good, that voting matters, that the government wouldn’t purposely kill its own citizens, or their poor little heads will explode.

        I usually direct them to the King Center website, and then suggest that they spend some time digging through theNational Security Archive at GWU. Spend a couple days looking through declassified documents regarding US actions in Guatemala and Chile, Iran and the Congo, not to mention right here inside our own borders, and then maybe you’ll understand why some of us simply will not ever be able to trust our government.

        This is, perhaps, one reason why the Libertarian “trolls” that show up here get so hung up on state violence and continually insist that we recognize and confront it. This is why I, personally, have sympathy for a lot of those arguments, even if I don’t agree entirely.

        There are, probably, nations where I wouldn’t feel like supporting the government and paying my taxes was lending tacit approval to state-terror and violence. There may be countries and governments that are not based on violence…but this (the US) sure ain’t one of ’em.

    2. Eric Himpton Holder Jr.

      I wish it was a lawyer’s claim. Now it’s the verdict of a jury on forensically tested public information. That’ll come in real handy if some little shit country wants to jerk my chain under universal-jurisdiction law, cuz I got this big AG job by lying like a rug to deny everything, and I gotta say it came off pretty fuckin lame. The pretend inauguration of CIA Secret Agent Obama is gonna suck. How I’m gonna wipe the shit-eating grin off my face when I get a load of that King bible, I dunno.

  5. wunsacon

    >> I am looking forward to life on a less brutish and competitive plane.

    Yves, if our AI and genetic/biological experiments don’t kill us but merely give us holodecks and immortality science, then you will hopefully one day find yourself buying a ticket for a one-way colony spaceship ride with like-minded people to spend eternity with.

    My expectation is that you won’t find that here on this planet, because it plainly seems humans can’t create a sustainable, peaceful society for themselves no matter how hard they try. (It’s probably an evolutionary trait: brutish procreators prosper. But, “why” it is does not matter, from a practical standpoint.)

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Single celled aglae – before cells appeared, organic molecules were basically practicing their verision of free love in the primordial soup, but once cells arrived, they became like the walled cities of the Middle Ages.

      I believe hunting, killing and cheating came not long after that.

      That was the beginning of the end.

      So, we must ask, why the need for the enclosure, the cell? Who or what was responsible for that?

  6. LucyLulu

    Lack of Infrastructure Investment Will Cost 3.5 Million Jobs and $3.1 Trillion by 2020

    From a report recently released by the American Society of Civil Engineers:

    “The study prepared by the Economic Development Research Group, a private consulting and analytic firm, estimated the United States needs to spend $2.75 trillion to maintain and improve its infrastructure by 2020, or roughly 66 percent more than the $1.66 trillion in currently expected funding over that period.

    “Overall, if the investment gap is not addressed throughout the nation’s infrastructure sectors by 2020, the economy is expected to lose almost $1 trillion in business sales, resulting in a loss of almost 3.5 million jobs.

    “Moreover, if current trends are not reversed, the cumulative cost to the U.S. economy from 2012 to 2020 will be more than $3.1 trillion in GDP and $1.1 trillion in total trade,” the report said.”

  7. Can't Help It

    Italy the next domino? I wish I am a hedge fund because the script is pretty much predictable. There will be a song and dance followed by a spike in interest rate at which point the hedge funds will come in and make a killing as the ECB enacts the OIT i.e. Outright Italian Transaction.

  8. Brindle

    Krugman: 2+2=5….or maybe 3.
    So Dodd-Frank is effective because Wall St. donated to Romney?

    Me thinks PK is indulging “shower Obama with flower petals” day.

    —“Finally, there’s financial reform. The Dodd-Frank reform bill is often disparaged as toothless, and it’s certainly not the kind of dramatic regime change one might have hoped for after runaway bankers brought the world economy to its knees.

    Still, if plutocratic rage is any indication, the reform isn’t as toothless as all that. And Wall Street put its money where its mouth is. For example, hedge funds strongly favored Mr. Obama in 2008 — but in 2012 they gave three-quarters of their money to Republicans (and lost).”—

    1. Eureka Springs

      Krugman should be compelled to live a mere three days as unemployed, ill, on the streets or in a home with utilities cut off and a daily stipend of food stamps for his article today.

      It’s like he’s just back from a lesson with Rove on how to abuse language – the term progressive.

      Still waiting on that F word, Paul.

    2. diptherio

      Don’t assume that campaign contributions are just about campaigns, even for the losers. Wall Street hedgies may have sent their donations to Romney either to: 1)remind the Dems that they still have to compete for the Street’s dollars even if they have been sucking up for four years, or; 2)to provide Obama political cover for his pillaging of the social safety-net. This way, when Obama privatizes SS, no one will be able to say that he did it because of Wall Street influence since Wall Street supported Romney.

      I think number two is actually likely. The finance sector in general, let us not forget, earns its pay by coming up with clever, often counter-intuitive strategies for wealth maximization.

  9. Kevin

    Bruce Schneier interviewed in on trust:

    [Salon:] As an individual, what security threats scare you the most?

    [Schneier:] My primary concerns are threats from the powerful. I’m not worried about criminals, even organised crime. Or terrorists, even organised terrorists. Those groups have always existed, always will, and they’ll always operate on the fringes of society. Societal pressures have done a good job of keeping them that way. It’s much more dangerous when those in power use that power to subvert trust. Specifically, I am thinking of governments and corporations.

    Let me give you a few examples. The global financial crisis was not a result of criminals, it was perpetrated by legitimate financial institutions pursuing their own self-interest. The major threats against our privacy are not from criminals, they’re from corporations trying to more accurately target advertising. The most significant threat to the freedom of the Internet is from large entertainment companies, in their misguided attempt to stop piracy. And the cyberwar rhetoric is likely to cause more damage to the Internet than criminals could ever dream of.

    From: Is it impossible to trust one another in the information age?

  10. JohnL

    ” Humans do it, chimpanzees do it, cuckoos do it — cheating to score a free ride is a well-documented behavior by many animals, even plants. But microscopically small, single-celled algae? Yes, they do it too, biologists with the University of Arizona’s department of ecology and evolutionary biology have discovered.”

    “Free ride” – the brainwashing is apparently complete. Looks like an Ayn Rand or Richard Dawkins reading. I guess we should stop those algae by taking away their entitlements. Think what they’re doing to the algal debt!

    How about this is the start of specialization and cooperation that leads to multi cellular organisms?

    1. from Mexico

      My takeaway line was this:

      Driscoll said the research illustrates how little is known about the ecology of microbes.

      Just imagine, if so little is known about single-cell microbe society, how much can be known about human society, which is infinitely more complex? At least in microbe society there is a simple, objective test to determine who the free riders are. In human society, we can’t even identify who the true free riders are. Reagan, for instance, was advocate, spokesperson and waterboy for elitist free riders. He therefore spent an inordinate amount of time diverting blame onto another class of free riders:

      She has eighty names, thirty addresses, twelve Social Security cards and is collecting veteran’s benefits on four non-existing deceased husbands. And she is collecting Social Security on her cards. She’s got Medicaid, getting food stamps, and she is collecting welfare under each of her names. Her tax-free cash income is over $150,000.
      — RONALD REAGAN, from a campaign speech

      And humans are hardly disinterested observers when it comes to describing human society, so the science becomes the perfect target for perversion and corruption. Here’s how Frederick Douglass put it:

      The temptation therefore, to read the Negro out of the human family is exeedingly strong, and may account somewhat for the repeated attempts on the part of Southern pretenders to science… Pride and selfishness, combined with mental power, never want for a theory to justify them…

      1. AbyNormal

        and we’re to believe the 3 or 4 bodybuilders were part of his entourage

        (TY Valissa, the piece leaves me’testy’)

        1. AbyNormal

          come to think of it, even Nancy knew better than to let the Guess Who perform American Woman at Julie’s bash

          too funnee diptherio

  11. Peter Pinguid Society

    As members of the Peter Pinguid Society (the 0.01 percent) we’re united in a common purpose: on the one hand, to loot the 99 percent, to steal everything we can get our hands on, on the other hand, to convince you that we are not looters, and that no crimes are taking place.

    As members of the 99 percent you are divided by many different points of view. You are like observers looking at the world through the narrow windows of an otherwise closed structure. Occasionally you will assemble at the center and discuss what you’ve seen; then one observer will talk about a beautiful landscape with red trees, a red sky, and a red lake in the middle; the next one about an infinite blue plane without articulation; and the third about an impressive, five-floor-high building.

    You will quarrel. And in case you ever agree on one thing, say the landscape or the structure, we’ll find another thing (how about a gun debate) for you to disagree on, that should keep you divided for another hundred years.

    As observers on top (the 0.01 percent) we can only laugh at your quarrels but for you the quarrels will be real; they will serve their purpose of keeping you divided. Every person has his own well-defined opinions, which color the section of the world he perceives.

    And when members of the 99 percent come together, when you try to discover the nature of the whole which you belong, you are bound to talk past each other; you will understand neither yourselves nor their companions; you will stay divided.

    On the other hand, as members of the Peter Pinguid Society we can kill where we please because it is all ours. Our manners consist of tearing off heads, the allotment of death. Our path is direct, straight through the bones of the living. Nothing can contradict our right to rule: the sun is behind us.

    Nothing has changed since we began, we have permitted no change.

    We intend to keep it that way.

    We are going to keep things like this.

    We are the Peter Pinguid Society, we are the 0.01 percent.

    1. LucyLulu

      Ah, Peter, but as member of the 0.01%, we outnumber you 10,000 to 1. Me thinks those odds should be worrisome. Recall what was triggered when one lone vender decided to set himself on fire, or King George III decided to levy a tax on tea?

        1. diptherio

          …holy shit…um, why does any Education Dept. need firearms? Isn’t that what the cops are for? WTF kind of education are they providing anyway?

      1. Massinissa

        Let me quote the late 1800s robber baron J Gould: “You can always hire half the poor to kill the other half.”

    2. Ms G

      This could be the best in the Peter Pinguid Series to date. How fitting that it be published on this day of Pinguid Theatre.

    1. ohmyheck

      “The sea lions that come to San Francisco are all males who have come north to feed and establish a hierarchy of dominance…

      The females stay south of Santa Barbara.”

      Dats right, dee wimin ah smahtah…

      Oh, and there is mention of Susan Smith in that article. My, my, she does get around.

    2. AbyNormal

      thanks brian, had no idea of this anniversary
      or this…
      “They are found all along the California coast, but they first settled down in the pier in 1990, months after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. Whether the quake was a factor in their coming is unknown, but heavily suggested.”

  12. mk

    The link to:

    An open letter to Anthony Jenkins at Barclays Bank Rowan Bosworth-Davies (Richard Smith)

    goes to a login page for nc

  13. AbyNormal

    Can non-Europeans think? (HT & TY rjs)

    “What about thinkers outside the purview of these European philosophers; how are we to name and designate and honour and learn from them with the epithet of “public intellectual” in the age of globalised media?

    And there it was again. Another religion turned against itself. Another edifice constructed by the human mind, decimated by human nature. a.roy, the god of small things

    1. Susan the other

      I think it was Hamid Dabashi who recently shredded Israel’s policy toward the Palestinians. Yes, Europeans are snobs – and they control NATO. I think it works the other way around, however – they control NATO so they get to be the enlightened ones. Dabashi says that “self confidence” (understatement of the industrial age) enables “a thinker to think his particular thinking is “Thinking” in universal terms. My new favorite quote. But the stages of morality and cognition really are universal. It would be fun to acknowledge certain ethno-quirks. Like serious lectures and debates about the realm of the ghosts of our ancestors and how this ghost world informs our world view. The Vietnamese believe this. If the debate were thrown wide open we would soon find that we agree. Because we are all nothing if not quirky. It is only our agreement that gets lost in translation while we are on our latest campaign to defeat “resource nationalism” or perhaps ethnic resources.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Our ancestors believed in ghost lions, ghost bears, etc. and they painted them on cave walls.

        Do we bockwurst-eater believe in ghost pigs? Do we vegetarians believe in ghost carrots?

          1. Susan the other

            Do we resource warriors believe that any resource is worth the carnage? And just to appease the gods we will erect a philosophy or a marble statue extolling the bravery of conquest?

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Maybe some Indie filmmaker can use it in his/her next project where a little piggie living near a haunted slaughterhouse learns the mystery of life and its own irrational fear of humans from ghost pigs from the past.

          3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            It could also work with a little carrot living near a huanted salad bar where many ghost carrots linger.

            I would do it in animation though…easier to attract younger viewers.

      1. Susan the other

        We’re the only ones who seem to need to philosophize. But my point would be that no matter at what point we start the conversation, it will always come to the limits of our cognitive and moral evolution and hover there.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          That’s true.

          I would also add that when it comes to thinking, it’s important to free people to do their own thinking.

          That’s what I think – I think people should think on their own. Therein lies the paradox.

          In any case, ideas all too often trickle from the top down, (look at MMT, quantum theory, capitalism, etc.), and all too often come in pre-digested form that are already worked out, ready to be accepted as is.

  14. MacCruiskeen

    The use of the term “hacker” is not Orwellian. If you had any familiarity with geek culture, esp. around MIT, you would know that the term has a pretty wide application and that what Swartz was doing certainly falls within legitimate use of the term. Setting up in a basement network closet to circumvent access restrictions is certainly a “hack.” The quoted friend is correct: in Ye Olde days, it would have been seen as a clever hack and probably he would have gotten at most a slap on the wrist.

    And sadly, it is still pretty widespread practice in academic publishing for authors to sign over copyrights to publishers.

    1. LucyLulu

      My understanding was that he had access privileges to the articles, everyone at MIT did. What the prosecutors were arguing was that because of the thousands of articles he downloaded, and using the janitor’s closet to hide his activity, along with prior statements about his beliefs that publicly funded research should be freely available, that he planned to redistribute the information. So, technically the term “hacker” wouldn’t apply. In fact, once upon a time (and perhaps still???), the more correct term for gaining access to a computer without permission was “cracker”, not hacker. A hacker was defined as a skilled programmer originally, and later sometimes as a ‘cracker’ who used his talents out of curiosity or to gain information for non-malicious purposes.

      But I agree with your point that “hacker” is not a particularly derogatory term, depending on the audience.

      1. MacCruiskeen

        It wasn’t a janitor’s closet, it was a network closet. These closets are normally kept locked; Swartz had to hunt around to find one that happened to be left unlocked. Indeed, the MIT campus is generally pretty open, most of the buildings can be entered without showing id. The basement tunnels don’t get a lot of foot traffic–most people use the street-level hallways unless they have a reason to go downstairs (often to avoid the cold–you can get most of the way across without going outside–yes, I’ve been down in the basement of building 16 myself for this reason).

        I’m also not surprised that they might have thought of the Chinese. People I know on campus have complained about the more or less continuous bombardment of their computers.

        I’m actually fairly sympathetic to Swartz, but I’m also not surprised by the sloppiness with which details aren’t covered in the press.

        1. jfleni

          Sure, he went snooping in the network closet, and copied some stuff; OK bad. The owner of the “stuff” would never even have missed the few pennies he never got! If he did it, he should have been punished and called to account, but proportionately; all the comments about Chinese epionage were just nonsense from people whose motives are mostly to butt-kiss the plutocrats, as well as inflate their own insignificance.

          We have seen over and over again a bunch of low-life, “police-dog” prosecutors treating foolish mistakes and misdemeanors like heinous war crimes in response to plutocrat complaints. It must stop!

    1. Susan the other

      Remember Rumsfeld backing away from calling this (undeclared) war a “Crusade” and then the DOJ did a survey for suggestions (ha) and came up with “Odyssey Dawn.”

    2. LucyLulu

      And its better to allow people who live in the area to be terrorized, mutilated, raped, and starved through lack of means of support,, and destroy ancient historical monuments and literature? These aren’t the local Tuareg anymore, anywhere. In Timbuktu it is AQIM. This is where the militant jihadists set up their new base of operations, and nobody else wants them there. Troops from neighboring countries are arriving already (they’re having the same problems):

        1. LucyLulu

          But is it your place (or my place) to decide? Or the people of Mali? (Many of the terrorists are foreigners.) The people have spoken, and the 99% in Mali want help removing the terrorists out of their country, as they don’t have sufficient domestic resources to mount a defense.

          And personally, I’m glad its French and African troops, and not those of the U.S. I don’t understand why anybody would think that preventing Al-Qaeda and related militant Islamists moving in and taking over cities and villages, implementing Sharia law brutally in secular populations, and generally terrorizing residents, should be condemned….. even assuming the helping forces have some ulterior motives (which is a stretch) or their past actions have contributed to the problem (agreed).

          1. Roland

            The Malians don’t need any help fighting the various Touareg factions.

            The Malian gov’t, poor as it is, nevertheless has more troops, more weapons, more heavy weapons, more ammunition, more vehicles, more aircraft, more money, more credit, better communications, and more secure sources of supply than all of the Touareg factions put together.

            The only reason Mali was losing the war was because their own officer coup staged a coup d’etat, and pulled most of the Malian army back to the capital city, which allowed the Touareg to overrun the desolate, sparsely inhabited Saharan region of the country.

            The current rulers of Mali don’t have much stomach to fight the war. Their people have no stamach at all to go die on their behalf. That’s the story.

          2. LucyLulu

            The Malis aren’t fighting Tuareg factions. The Tauregs came to the government in southern Mali requesting help, after their alliance with the Islamic militants got them in way over their heads. The Tuaregs/NMLA are aligned with the Mali government.

        2. LucyLulu

          I think that some readers here (and this is not directed specifically at you, taunger) have a tendency to label people and entities as “good” or “bad”. Once labelled, all actions or attributes of same also correspondingly are concluded to be judged good or bad, and don’t require supporting evidence. The possibility that a “bad” government or person can do “good” things, and vice versa, is promptly ruled out. Black or white thinking and bias confirmation prevail over critical analysis.

          1. LucyLulu

            I should add that I’ve been guilty of doing the same. I’m not holding myself as some sort of saint. Only mentioning an observation and something that, IMO, is worthy of self-monitoring.

          2. jsmith

            So, what flavor is your favorite Kool-Aid or do you even bother to notice anymore?

            Let’s see:

            Gulf of Tonkin
            Iraq babies and incubators
            9/11 fairy tales
            Helping the women of Afghanistan

            I could go on and on and on and f*cking on for months on end with listing each and every lie and falsehood that we’ve been told to justify the aggressive wars waged by the West and the purposeful destabilization of sovereign states for the stealing of resources but people like you obviously don’t have the capacity to understand that ONCE AGAIN identical storylines are being trotted out and incomprehensibly naive/gullible people like yourself stand their dutifully lapping it up without a thought to the murderous war-crimes we’ve repeatedly and provably been made accomplices to over and over again.

            At what point, LL – which I doubt you have one as evidenced by your obtuseness – do you say no matter what the story/excuse/rationale is this time there should be no more Western war crimes couched as humanitarian intervention?

            Tell us LL, how many more MILLIONS of people have to be murdered before you wake up?

            How many more TRILLIONS of dollars of natural resources need be stolen from indigenous populations by Western fascist thugs?

            You’re worse than a gun-nut telling us that the solution to more shootings is more guns because the propagation of Western war-crimes has been going on for decades longer than the rash of mass shootings were have been experiencing since the 90s.

            It’s just too gray an area for anyone to take a stand, right, LL?

            We should just trust the experts, huh?

            F*cking pathetic if it wasn’t so sad.

            I guess I’ll – like you – just have to compromise my personal moral code to accomodate for more intelligence agency nonsense dished out by aiding and abetting propagandists.

            Really, really f*cking disgusting.

            No, LL, most people of minimal intelligence and morality have come to the conclusion – after years of being played as suckers by our war crimial leaders – there no longer is ANY valid reason for ANY intervention by the West into the affairs of sovereign nations any longer as we’ve long past the point where we can’t believe a single f*cking thing our governments tell us about the rest of the world and the people that inhabit it.

          3. jsmith

            should be:

            CAN believe a single f*cking thing our governments tell us…

            Seriously, are Suzanne Nossel?

            Victoria Nuland?

            Susan Rice?

            Which department of state or “humanitarian” agency do you work for?

            Maybe you write for the Rachel Maddow Show?

            How else could you sit here and try and tell people who over just the last decade have seen millions of people murdered, maimed and displaced by Western “humanitarian” intervention that – no really, this time the West are the good guys!!

            I guess never again really should mean until the next time someone tells me a really good story.


          4. LucyLulu

            I generally agree with your observations about U.S. history, believe it or not, j., and military intervention in foreign nations. I objected to invading Iraq and Afghanistan, drone warfare, and don’t believe we should invade Iran, nuclear weapons or not. I just don’t happen to agree in this instance. I won’t allow assumptions about past behavior to overrule my perception of present facts.

            If 99% of the sovereign country’s population consents, and the outcome is humanitarian relief, who is suffering from war crimes? The terrorists who are inflicting pain, suffering, and death upon a helpless people? Excuse me if I have no sympathy.

            JS, name-calling and insults add no credibility to your argument, only a lack of desire to engage in this discussion further.

            Tu le crois.

    1. Ms G

      Well, well. How’s that for a simple and honest reference. How many in the crowds passing out in front of the Drone Messiah have a clue that MLK cried “Jobs” and BHO cries for “Shared Sacrifice”?

      (Thanks for posting.)

    2. JTFaraday

      Maybe Walmart will step up with another minimum wage “job guarantee”!

      You never know. It’s only about 2:30pm and we’re in a bit of a press lull. Still time for a major public relations coup before the Inaugural Ball.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I rather have GDP sharing than the stigma of ‘hey, here comes the guy from Job Guarantee Corps!’

        GDP sharing – shared equally. No Stigma. Everyone is the same.

        1. JTFaraday

          Then you likely agree with the article’s author, based on the direct quotes selected to represent him, that Martin Luther King’s message was no mere “cry for jobs”:

          “The contemporary tendency in our society is to base distribution on scarcity, which has vanished, and to compress our abundance into the overfed mouths of the middle and upper classes until they gag with superfluity. If democracy is to have breath of meaning it is necessary to adjust this inequity.”

          “In the next ten to twenty years, automation will grind jobs to dust as it grinds out unbelievable volumes of production. This period is made to order for those who would seek to drive labor into impotency. . . . To find a great design to solve a grave problem, labor will have to intervene in the political life of the nation to chart a course which distributes the abundance to all instead of concentrating it among a few. The strength to carry through such a program requires that labor know its friends and collaborate as a friend.”

          The author goes on to suggest this is something that “labor” does not do.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I wonder if it is related to the division within ‘labor’ into its own 0.01% and 99.99%.

          2. JTFaraday

            That’s what the author goes on to say. But the MLK quotes he chose seem to suggest that eventually “labor” will have to redefine itself otherwise or reconstitute itself into something else entirely.

    3. LucyLulu

      Thanks for the link to article. Claims that MLK’s ultimate mission wasn’t racial justice but economic justice for all, that he didn’t believe that race and class issues could be separated, don’t conform to the vision most Americans (including myself) have of MLK as primarily a civil rights leader. It makes sense however, esp. given that the the white working classes profited at the expense of lower paid wages of black labor. And then this quote from author of article about the labor movement:

      “The estrangement from race and class concerns has damaged the labor movement in two ways. First, minorities, who in a generation will be a majority of the population, no longer see unions as central to their progress—potentially a fatal blow to unions. Second, at a time when the vast majority of all Americans believe that the system is rigged to benefit the rich, unions’ constant infighting and preoccupation with their own survival have constrained their ability to lead on issues vital to poor and working people: developing a fair economy, where the rich do not reap the gains from workers’ productivity, while workers’ incomes stagnate or fall; ending perpetual war and excessive military spending; reversing environmental degradation and the growing likelihood of ecological catastrophe; immigrant rights; and educational collapse. “

  15. Stephen Gardner

    Re: Facebook’s Bold, Compelling and Scary Engine of Discovery. It say they are looking for a name for it. Why not call it “thin thread”? That’s what a similar tool was called at NSA. :-)

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Probably coming to a grocery store near you soon.

      Quadruple DNA helix beef – they taste better!

  16. Chauncey Gardiner

    Thank you, Richard Smith, and Yves for posting the link to the link to the Daily Mail article about Barclays senior management and the culture of fear, bullying and circumventing compliance with internal controls and regulations they fostered.

    I wonder to what extent similar cultural norms and management behavior pervades other American and UK banks and large corporations?… and some government agencies? Seems to be a common story over the past couple of decades and a major factor in organizational failures.

    How many employees are victims of this type of behavior and what are the hidden costs?

    We have already seen evidence of the costs to society at large, although with the derivatives mess I don’t believe those costs have been fully realized.

    Robert D. Hare had it right.

  17. Valissa

    Physicists Disagree Over Meaning of Quantum Mechanics, Poll Shows

    btw, I too side with Bohr over Einstein… as I am not a determinist.

    In the poll, 42 percent of respondents said Bohr’s Copenhagen interpretation was their favorite interpretation of quantum mechanics — no other interpretation received more than 24 percent of the votes.

    Meanwhile, 64 percent of those polled said that Einstein’s view of quantum mechanics “is wrong,” while 6 percent said it would “ultimately turn out to be correct.”

        1. Valissa

          The actual research paper on which the article is based is here

          The sample size is pretty small, only 33. I’d like to see this experiment repeated a few times with much larger sample sizes. It would also be interesting to see the results from mixed discipline groups versus separately for the 3 groups (physicists, philosophers, mathemeticians).

    1. Klassy!

      In The New Yorker George Packer asks “why so few memorable speeches?”. I’m thinking it’s because we have a bland corporatocrat in office. I do believe I would not bat an eye if he started talking about America’s “core competencies or “leveraging America’s greatest strengths”.
      But hey, what do I know? Here’s the real reason:
      He’s never given himself a phrase or sentence to wield in the crunch, conveying an idea that’s simple and yet profound enough to embed itself in the public’s mind, and that truly defines his political vision. Obama is too complex, too nuanced, too elusive, and too careful, for words that stick.

      1. Ms G

        @Klassy! — did you write that (in italics)? If so, First rate! If not, First rate for posting it. By contrast, Packer’s thoughts on the matter are cardboard-ish,superficial, and not mellifuous English neither:)

          1. Ms G

            @ Klassy! Hilarious — I thought it was you writing a parody of the Lackey Media writing about The Ob’s Great Inscrutability!

      2. LucyLulu

        I disagree. I find Obama to be possibly the most eloquent orator of current history. For example, in his memorial speech after the Tucson shooting, he was able to turn a tragic loss into a celebration of inspirational lives cut too short. He’s #1 on my list to deliver my eulogy…….. though I prefer he’d do more while I was still alive to reap the benefits.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Has anyone ever investigated the relationship between the doing-saying gap and, say, literacy/levels of education? Or how the doing-saying gap varies among the different vocations, say for example, a theories-spewing tax-driver/politician/blogger and a hunter/gatherer?

  18. different clue

    About Obama atoning for CO2 emissions . . .

    I predict Obama will approve the Keystone XL Pipeline Northern Half whenever he thinks he can get away with it.
    If he thinks he can’t get away with overt approval, then he will approve a series of sneaky dog-leg catty corner workarounds going east and then south and then west again to link up with Keystone Pipeline XL southern half.

    1. Klassy!

      Obama is too complex, too nuanced, too elusive, and too careful, for words that stick.
      Oh.I get it now.

    2. Ms G

      Obama is too Eleventy Chess for anyone to really know what Massa Messiah is thinking. That’s why we just BELIEVE in HIS INFINITE GOODNESS.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Western shamans (I was going to say shamen) a.k.a. economists rarely encounter that kind of occupational hazard, (fortunately?).

    2. Valissa

      Since I don’t know anything about spiritual & religious beliefs in Zimbabwe I decided to get a wee bit educated on that.

      African Traditional Religions
      Traditional medicine is the source of primary care for many Zimbabweans. N’angas (traditional healers)are consulted for their political and religious powers along with their healing powers. The Zimbabwe National Traditional Healers Association (ZINATHA) is officially recognized by the government and has a constitution along with departments of education and research. Each of the approximately 55,000 members pays annual dues. ZINATHA officials estimated that 80 percent of the population consult traditional healers during the year.

      Herbal remedies are used. Most n’angas say they are possessed by a healing spirit which they invoke while treating the patient.

      So what happened to the healer and people in the house? Did he accidentally call a ngozi (avenging or evil spirit) because, perhaps, he drank too much and misspoke? Or was this a political action. I noticed in the article above that these healers are also consulted for their political powers which leads me to wonder if this was a political meeting disguised a healing session. Their cover was obviously blown.

  19. Kos

    The Inauguration Ball 2013

    Beginning in daytime, festivities will fill the grand Ballroom with joyful commotion. At around five o’clock we will all sit down to an immense table laden with fruits and sweets.

    At that moment they will bring in the God Emperor Obie One’s famous cake, which will be greeted with cheers and shouts. All eyes will turn to the gift-giver Obie One, who, standing up without a hint of shyness will recite his fable in a clear assured voice.

    At the final verses, applause will burst out from all sides, and Gaga, standing in turn, will propose a toast in honor of Obie One, who will become King of the Banquet.

    After the snack, the Ball will continue. Obie One and Gaga will waltz in together, then tired out from having covered the floor several times they will break off near Madame Michelle, who, standing calmly, will watch with delight, the beautiful childish merriment all around her.

    Suddenly an immense choir will sound out, composed of deep, vibrant, male voices. At this sound, everyone will turn toward the west side of the square where brave warriors, squatting near the weapons they’ve laid on the ground will sing “Jekkouka”, a proud epic written for the God Emperor, with its subject being a detailed narrative of his own exploits.

    As the singers chant each couplet, clapping their hands in unison as if they were a single man, this glorious epic will produce a rather grandiose impression on the crowd.

    And everyone will join along in singing “Jekkouka”, clapping our hands in unison, as we rejoice in the God Emperor Obie One, whose notable deeds are many.

    1. Ms G

      “they will break off near Madame Michelle, who, standing calmly, … ”

      “they will break off near Madame Michelle, who, standing calmly — her bulgy (toned/sculpted) biceps and triceps gleaming off the sides of her J. Crew sheath dress …”

    2. Kos

      The Tabernacle Choir took their cue from Madame Michelle, and burst into song only AFTER (not before) she raised her sculpted biceps, gleaming through the J Crews dress…

  20. Ms G

    Martin Luther King: “I HAVE A DREAM.”

    Obama: “I HAVE A DRONE.”

    (The contrast bears repeating.)

    1. Jim Haygood

      Glenn Greenwald:

      King argued for the centrality of his anti-militarism advocacy most eloquently on April 4, 1967, at Riverside Church in New York City – exactly one year before the day he was murdered. That extraordinary speech was devoted to answering his critics who had been complaining that his anti-war activism was distracting from his civil rights work (“Peace and civil rights don’t mix, they say. Aren’t you hurting the cause of your people, they ask?”).

      King, citing seven independent reasons, was adamant that ending US militarism and imperialism was not merely a moral imperative in its own right, but a prerequisite to achieving any meaningful reforms in American domestic life.

      In that speech, King called the US government “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today”, as well as the leading exponent of “the deadly Western arrogance that has poisoned the international atmosphere for so long” (is there any surprise this has been whitewashed from his legacy?).

      King emphasized that his condemnations extended far beyond the conflict in Southeast Asia: “the war in Vietnam is but a symptom of a far deeper malady within the American spirit.” He insisted that no significant social problem could be resolved while the US remains “a nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift” – a recipe, he said, for certain “spiritual death”. For that reason, he argued, “it should be incandescently clear that no one who has any concern for the integrity and life of America today can ignore the present war.” That’s because:

      “If America’s soul becomes totally poisoned, part of the autopsy must read Vietnam. It can never be saved so long as it destroys the deepest hopes of men the world over.”

      Working against US imperialism was, he said, “the privilege and the burden of all of us who deem ourselves bound by allegiances and loyalties which are broader and deeper than nationalism and which go beyond our nation’s self-defined goals and positions.” For King, opposing US violence in the world was not optional but obligatory: “We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemies …”

      ML King was a true peace laureate … the Depublicrat sociopath BHO is merely a peace of shit.

      1. Ms G

        This speech by Martin Luther King is quite breathtaking.

        I’m reposting one of the sentences that struck me especially:
        “If America’s soul becomes totally poisoned, part of the autopsy must read Vietnam. It can never be saved so long as it destroys the deepest hopes of men the world over.”

        Thanks for posting. And your last comment is an A-plus.

  21. Ms G

    Martin Luther King: “WE WANT JOBS!”


    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Why jobs if the fruit of our jobbing is not shared equally?

      One does not stop contributing to the GDP when one is jobless. One’s joblessness contributes to the efficiency of the economy, according to our ‘experts.’

      And so, again, why jobs if the fruit of our jobbing (those with jobs and the jobless) is not shared equally?

      We don’t want jobs.

      We want the GDP shared…equally. One person, one share.

      1. Ms G

        Yes and no. We want jobs but only ones with compensation commensurate to all the value added by any labor — which (at least in my little calculator) would mean that GDP would end up being distributed fairly so that it could be represented as a straight, flat line on a graph indicating every person’s share of wealth created.

        Also, I agree 100% and Totally that those of us without paid work are contributing to our society (and GDP) and cosmic existence. (Not being snarky at all here, by the way.)

  22. Ms G

    Here is what we will not hear today. It always brings tears to my eyes.


    “But here is the challenge to our democracy: In this nation I see tens of millions of its citizens—a substantial part of its whole population—who at this very moment are denied the greater part of what the very lowest standards of today call the necessities of life.

    I see millions of families trying to live on incomes so meager that the pall of family disaster hangs over them day by day.

    I see millions whose daily lives in city and on farm continue under conditions labeled indecent by a so-called polite society half a century ago.

    I see millions denied education, recreation, and the opportunity to better their lot and the lot of their children.

    I see millions lacking the means to buy the products of farm and factory and by their poverty denying work and productiveness to many other millions.

    I see one-third of a nation ill-housed, ill-clad, ill-nourished.

    Franklin Delano Roosevelt, January 20, 1937 (Second Inaugural Address)

    1. AbyNormal

      nor was it followed by a 3000 calorie lobster luncheon

      (6:05e and im still experiencing tear stinging)

  23. AbyNormal

    Whoa…this was just lobbed at me (HT again rjs)

    The Gospel of Wealth: towards a new generation of American consumership

    Economics and Finance for the American Way of Life is a textbook for a mandatory full year Texas public school course at the end of middle school. It was deemed necessary at this level because this is the age when students take their place among the ranks of their adult peers as consumers, with credit cards and cell phones and online shopping and as soon to be de facto owners of automobiles. Furthermore, fully thirty percent of the students in Texas will not advance beyond this level of education.

    There are difficulties with such an ambitious text. Most of the students cannot read with comprehension beyond the level of comic books and it is not expected that they can comprehend newspapers in Texas until their senior year, though that is more of a goal than an expectation. This is not deemed a significant problem in Texas, in part because it is a Southern state and also because the state legislature works at the comic book level. Important documents in Texas are translated into comic book format, an innovation from Louisiana necessary to provide driver’s license tests for illiterates. However, it could be problematic for other states that will likely be required to adopt this text.

    half way thru…
    At this point students are admonished to avoid the study of useless subjects such as science and mathematics and philosophy and its ilk, disciplines better left to the needy foreigners who are trained in such frivolous pursuits. Books are to be avoided except as necessary for developing tools to get money. The example of Einstein is made, a man who gained little money for all his efforts and hence of little importance. He is paid extensive lip service for his apparent brilliance, but this is because so few understand him. Which begs the question, how do people know he was smart when he didn’t take any tests to demonstrate the fact and no one understands his gibberish?
    (an i need to take a walk…can’t complete this in one siting)

    1. Ms G

      I saw a documentary about this and was struck dumb. Thanks for posting the website with the photographs. I will look for a link to the documentary.

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